Wild Blue Pixel
TIP OF THE DAY
Friday, October 14, 2011
Major chords and scales are "happy", minor chords and scales are "sad". But just like the Yin Yang symbol, every major scale has its minor flip side, and every minor scale has its major flip side.
Most kalimba makers are able to put your kalimba in many different keys or scales, but almost no kalimba seller will do this. Kalimba Magic is different. You might say we are failed kalimba makers, turned kalimba sellers. We don't make 'em so good, but we sure do know how to fix up other makers' kalimbas. That is because we are master kalimba players who know how to tweak kalimbas to make them soar.
We've been getting some questions lately about Major vs Minor, and we just happen to have two YouTube videos that instruct brilliantly about this:
The Hugh Tracey Box Pentatonic kalimba
I actually start the above video in Bb major, it shifts to G minor (i.e., the relative minor of Bb major) around 0:14. Around 0:30 I go back and forth between the major and minor chords, and at 0:50 I sink into a straight minor groove.The Celeste Pentatonic kalimba
This video shows me playing one of these, in G major tuning.
Even though the above kalimba is tuned to G major, at 0:10 I shift to Em, the relative minor to G major.
So, you might ask, if every major has a minor hidden inside, and if every minor has a major hidden inside, why would you want to change tunings at all? That is a question tied up with kalimba psychology. A piano can play in any key. In fact, unless you are a 5 year old kid, you probably haven't even touched the lowest note on the piano. Trumpet? Trombone? There is nothing special about the lowest note. But Kalimba? There is something magical about the lowest note on the kalimba, I think because it is right in the middle. It is important. It SETS THE TONE for the kalimba. Even though a G major kalimba with G as the root note can play in E minor, the fact that G is sitting right in the middle makes you 10 or 100 times more likely to play in G. Similarly, a G minor kalimba with G right in the middle on the low note can also play in Bb major, but you are 10 (or 100) times as likely to get to that bottom note and just say "THIS is my key - G minor!"
Kalimba psychology can be very powerful, but now you have the key to overcoming the suggestive nature of the low note - now you can find the hidden relative minor (or major) lurking inside your kalimba. Of course, there are other scales beside just the major and the minor. Some of them are also lurking within your kalimba as it sits right now. Others will require a minor tuning adjustment, so to speak.